The Tour de France returns to the UK after a seven year absence with OE Cam’s hometown of Cambridge hosting ‘le grand départ’ of Stage 3 on 7 July.  The publicity machine is gearing up, roads have been resurfaced or repaired – excellent news for those of us on or near the tour route.

Tour de France contenders and their teams are busy honing their fitness in races across Europe in preparation for peak condition come July and hoping to maintain it over three weeks and 3,500 kilometres – the focus is on wining the prized ‘Yellow Jersey’.

As a consultant in organisational development and a keen cyclist myself, I am interested in understanding how the sport deals with leadership and performance management.  Selection for a Tour de France team member is a highly sought after experience and reflects a huge investment by Team Principals in attracting and retaining the right individuals – including the leader.  The mechanisms adopted to establish and running a ‘World Tour’ cycling team are not dissimilar to building a team in any organisation.  In the two articles below, we reflect upon recruitment and retention practices and the techniques used by Team Principals to address performance.  When individual performance initially fails to meet expectations, how can leaders effectively achieve  ‘yellow jersey’ success?

Enjoy the articles and hope to see you out on the Cambridge road-side supporting the riders as they speed by…

  • Stars & Water Carriers” – Chris Legge and Paolo Moscuzza explore organisational recruitment and retention practices and their impact on the bottom line.  “In the Tour de France, the team leader (the ‘Star’) has to build a team of riders (the ‘Water Carriers’) all of whom will have particular strengths and capabilities to support the leader in their quest for victory… in order to attract and retain the right members, team managers…
  • Measures, Performance and Management” – article exploring the techniques to address individual and team performance.  “The Team Sky situation is a powerful reminder for business managers that it may not always be possible for all individuals to deliver to initial expectations; however, losing the commitment of colleagues to achieve what is still attainable could have a significant outcome, not just individually, but collectively”.

chris.legge@oecam.com